MedWatch-Brain health

MedWatch-Brain health

(ABC) -We all know the importance exercise has on our bodies, but what about workouts that target organs, like our brains? While you can't really grow your brain, you can help keep it as sharp as possible as you age with some simple steps.

Should we shell out time and money for games that we are told will make our brain work better?

"Brain dev starts in utero and there is a long period of time in which the brain matures just as the rest of the body matures," said Dr. David Loring, professor of neurology and pediatrics, Emory University.

And after that, it's pretty much a downward slide.

"After it's fully developed, it's like the rest of the body…nothing works as well 10 years down the line," Dr. Loring said.

That's where brain games come into the equation with promises of less forgetfulness, sharper and quicker problem solving, basically better thinking power.

"The question that then pops up is to what degree do these cognitive tasks that you've practiced on will generalize and help maintain cognitive skills in a variety of real world tasks," Dr. Loring said.

We do know there are some things we can all do to make our brains function better. Healthy living and a fair amount of exercise will help keep your brain strong.

"Both social interaction that you have and some of the more broad type of activities in which you engage are related to maintaining a level of function at optimum levels," Dr. Loring said.

So, if you want to play a few brain games now and then, it's probably not the worst thing you can do, but don't forget to get outside, see people and try something new because those brain boosters are free.

In other health news, March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month and the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma in Lawton, Duncan and Altus are offering free colon cancer screening kits through the end of the month. Visit any of the three locations to pick yours up or inquire about all of your screening options.

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